11 FEBRUARY 1989, Page 53

Chinese Lenten

.1•AL .PNLANNL0 JorkJeLfitt

WHAT a lot of occasions at the beginning of February this year give thought for food rather than vice versa; Shrove Tuesday feasting, Ash Wednesday fasting, the Chinese New Year of the Snake for proces- sing and Saint Valentine's day for loving and massacring. So with any luck most People all over the world should have a chance at one of these celebrations.

Inadvertently I made a rather good Lenten dish last week trying to finish off some leftover leeks and staling cream. If You are starting from scratch the following ingredients are what you need, but they could easily be interchangeable with your own leftovers.

Leek and tuna soufflé 1 lb trimmed leeks

2 oz butter 1 tablespoon plain flour 3 eggs 1/4 pint of thick cream 1/4 lb of goat's cheese (soft) pepper and salt fresh grated parmesan 1 tin of tuna fish (7 oz)

Slice the cleaned leeks rather finely. Using a saucepan large enough for all the other items, stew the leeks in the butter until soft. Stir in the flour, mixing well. Continue cooking and stirring for three minutes, add the cream and then the goat's cheese, blending into a smooth mass. Season with a goodly grinding of black pepper and salt to taste. Remove from heat to cool down a bit. Separate the eggs, then add the yolks to the leek mixture one at a time, beating well. Butter a gratin dish or some suitable oven-proof receptacle about 12 inches long, scatter the drained tuna fish over the base. Now beat the whites of the eggs stiffly and fold them gently into the leeks. Pour onto the tuna and strew the top with some parmesan cheese. Place in a preheated oven at Gas 8, F445, C229 for 20 to 25 minutes. I happened to have two aging egg whites lurking in the refrigerator which I added to the other whites, thus aiding the rising of the soufflé, but that is not necessary. It makes a very good supper dish and goes well with a tomato salad. Pork spare ribs are really expensive if you think of the small amount of meat you actually get off them, so for the following dish I substituted turkey wings, much cheaper and meatier. Cooked the same

way as spare ribs they make an excellent vehicle for the sauce.

Red-cooked turkey wings

2-21/2 lb turkey wings 1 large onion paprika 11/2 inch fresh ginger 2 tablespoons sherry 2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons mushroom ketchup -3/4 pint of good chicken stock 4 oz tin of pineapple (optional) vegetable oil

Boil the turkey wings in a saucepan for ten minutes. Drain. Cut the wing tips off at the joint for easier handling. Return to a large pan. Chop the onion, grate the peeled ginger, add them to the wings; sprinkle with about a teaspoon of paprika and some ground black pepper, add the soy, sherry and mushroom ketchup, the chicken stock and if so desired the pineap- ple (this will achieve a sweet and sour flavour). Cover the pan (I used a large iron casserole) and simmer for three- quarters of an hour, turning the wings every now and then to ensure even cook- ing. Remove the wings into a roasting pan. If the sauce is still rather liquid turn up the heat to reduce until you have a nice sticky covering sauce. Brush the wings with sunf- lower oil and coat with sauce. Place in a preheated oven at Gas 6, F400 C205 and roast for 15 minutes. Serve as a first course to be eaten with the fingers or as a main one with plain boiled rice and some cris- pish green vegetable like mangetout or broccoli.

With all this talk of kidneys, I prepared a delicious little dish of lambs' kidneys the other day. Remove skin from eight kid- neys, cut in half and cut out the white suet from inside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on the insides, leave for half an hour. Gently sauté the kidneys in butter, making sure they remain just pink within, sprinkle with about two tablespoons of warmed Ricard or Pernod. When bubbling set fire to the juices and when flames die stir a quarter pint of thick cream until bubbling again. Serve at once on toast or with mashed potatoes. If you hate the Pernod taste use port instead.

Jennifer Paterson